Capitol Alert

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Following passage of his November ballot initiative to raise taxes, Gov. Jerry Brown's public approval rating is higher than at any previous point in his term, according to a new poll.

Fifty-one percent of California adults and 50 percent of likely voters approve of the job Brown is doing, according to a Public Policy Institute of California poll released tonight. The Democratic governor's job approval rating was 41 percent when he took office in 2011 and 46 percent one year ago.

The Legislature's traditionally dismal public approval rating has also improved, though it remains well below 50 percent. Forty-one percent of Californians approve of the job the Legislature is doing, up from 28 percent a year ago, according to the poll. Forty-two percent of Californians disapprove of the job the Legislature is doing.

Brown's improving image follows passage of Proposition 30 and the release this month of a relatively popular budget plan.

Sixty-nine percent of Californians favor Brown's annual budget proposal, while 75 percent of Californians favor his controversial proposal to overhaul the state's K-12 funding system to direct more money to districts with more poor students and English learners, according to the poll.

Californians remain concerned about the economy, but their outlook has improved. Forty-nine percent of adults expect good economic times in the next 12 months, up from 35 percent a year ago. The proportion of residents who say things in California are generally going in the right direction -- 51 percent -- is above 50 percent for the first time since January 2007, according to the poll.

Fifty-seven percent of Californians expect the governor and Legislature to work together to accomplish a lot this year, up 13 percentage points from a year ago.



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